INDYCAR Brings Back Push-To-Pass, Fines Schmidt Hamilton

Will Phillips, INDYCAR vice president of technology - Anne Proffit photo

Will Phillips, INDYCAR vice president of technology - Anne Proffit photo

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INDYCAR is bringing back push-to-pass on the road courses, which means it'll be in use for every single one of the races remaining save the finale, a 500-miler on Auto Club Speedway's 2-mile oval.

Coupled with the reductions in downforce on ovals, the sanctioning body appears to be working toward bringing back the driving equation in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

The P2P button was introduced by then sole provider Honda in 2009 as a way to take their bulletproof-spec engines and add a little intrigue. Not a lot, though not enough.

In its new guise the overtake P2P will allow drivers to add a bit of boost and some more revs using the steering wheel pushbutton.

"It will be similar to what it was in the past because we know that model worked," said Will Phillips, INDYCAR vice president of technology.

Series officials will follow the path already blazed by giving the added boost for a pre-determined number of times--INDYCAR will also decide the total amount of time for usage, recharge time and any delay in the system prior to each actuation. Engine manufacturers may adjust the settings below the requirements to optimize their engine's performance, 'INDYCAR said.

Under these rules, push to pass will not engage until a certain throttle position is reached and will disengage if the driver lifts or presses the button again.

As part of the introduction of push-to-pass, the base turbocharger boost level will decrease to 150 kPa, but when the system is engaged the boost increases to 160 kPa.

The Honda Indy Toronto at Exhibition Place is the IZOD IndyCar Series' next race the weekend of July 6-8, and the teams will be able to test their new push-to-pass systems during the race weekend.

There was other INDYCAR news on this off-week after five races in a row. Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports' No. 77 Dallara/Honda/Firestone Indy car driven by rookie sensation Simon Pagenaud, was caught with a wrong-size fuel tank--regulation is 18.5 gallons of E85--and were subsequently fined $5000. The team can protest.

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